Tender for a contract

Finding out about private and public contracts

Guide

You can find out about private sector contracts in a number of ways:

  • build contacts with potential customers
  • advertisements in local and national newspapers
  • advertisements in trade and professional magazines covering your area of business
  • research contracts outside your business sector which may produce secondary contracts for you, eg if a new office block is built, it will need desks, carpets, signage, stationery, cleaning and laundry
  • follow up press and other reports - a company may be expanding or sub-contracting part of a big order
  • network and pick up information from other businesses

You can identify public sector contracts by:

  • Browsing online procurement portals - such as eTendersNI for opportunities in Northern Ireland, and eTenders.ie for opportunities in the Republic of Ireland. Read more about tender for public sector contracts in Great Britain and Ireland and tender for contracts in the Northern Ireland public sector.
  • Reading procurement pipeline information - some public sector organisations publish pipeline information relating to upcoming tendering opportunities
  • Finding out the challenges currently advertised by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) - this provides funding for innovative products that could help solve a specific problem a government department or agency wants to solve. Successful applicants receive a development contract for the full cost of demonstrating the feasibility of their technology, and the opportunity for subsequent funding for prototype development, whilst retaining the intellectual property.
  • Contact your local Enterprise Europe Network.

If you are interested in high value public sector contracts available in other European Union (EU) countries, you can search on the Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) website. This is the online version of the Official Journal of the European Union - where all contracts worth more than specified EU procurement thresholds are advertised.